This morning, I listened to an interview from a lawyer handling a U.S. Supreme Court case on prayer. The case involves two women fighting against prayers being made before town council meetings in Greece, NY. It is not exactly prayer which is the issue, but "Christian" prayer. As their attorney Douglas Laycock stated, "This case is about Christians aggressively imposing themselves on their fellow citizens with the power of government."
While I really don't care what the Supreme Court decides in this case (and please don't comment about why I should), it is interesting how acceptable it has become to be openly hostile to Christianity. We are not talking about people who are primarily fighting for equal representation for all religions; we are speaking about people who openly hate Christianity...and the God Christians serve. Say what you want...pray how you want, but do not name the name of Jesus Christ. If you ever had a doubt before, know that this antagonism is very personal.
I find it also telling that this argument against Christianity is coming from Greece. Symbolically, the Grecian mindset has always been antagonistic to Christianity. Greek philosophy is based primarily in humanism; where man - his thoughts, desires, and will - is the supreme standard. According to this thought, man is the center of everything; man is his own god.
Isaiah 59:2; Micah 3:4). To simply believe the Scriptures these days is enough to get you labeled as a "radical" Christian.
I mentioned before how we are looking at publishing options for "The Organic Gospel" book. Many agents/publishers who identify their specialty as "Christian" works also have requirements in their guidelines that they don't want anything "sermon-like". They don't want to sound "preachy". Instead, they are interested in publishing "inspirational" books or those which feature fictional Christian "romance" and "fantasy" story lines. Have not many Christians turned their ears away from sound doctrine to fables? After all, this is apparently what sells because the hearts of many Christians are still worldly.
Furthermore, I have been told by the Blip video network that all of my hosted videos will be removed tomorrow. What was my offense? Posting "sermons". Apparently, this is part of the prohibited content as relayed in their Terms and Conditions of service. I realize that many video links here will be broken at that point, however I don't know that I will seek to find another home for them. The Lord has already warned me that the entire blog will ultimately be removed because of its content, so...
One of the first things that the Jewish people did in response to Stephen's preaching and the demonstration of the power of the Holy Ghost through him was to "stop their ears" (Acts 7:57). Why do they do this? Because they don't want to hear the word of the Lord (Zechariah 7:11). God tells us that it will be the same in our day...and it is. The Word of God (Jesus Christ) was the offense then and is still the offense now to those who are not saved - no matter what they profess.
UPDATE: A brother sent me the following comment after reading this part of the article and I would like to post his comments for your edification.
"Not long ago I was studying the account of Steven in Acts 7. The thing that impressed me at that time was that the people didn’t stop their ears when he called them stiffnecked, uncircumcised etc. – here they were pricked to their hearts and were gnashing their teeth (this was an internal response). IMO I don’t think they physically assaulted him yet i.e, actually bit him – because if they did I think Luke would have used the word ‘bit’ – but gnashing is like grating or grinding (seething) see Matt: 8:12 et al) – and I’ve really seen that happen before when I was a babe shooting off my mouth everywhere (in this case at a funeral no less:). Anyway, it was when he said ‘I see the son of man standing at the right hand of the Father – ‘Then they cried out with a loud voice’ (now it’s an external response) and stopped their ears and rushed him".
"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." I Peter 2:7-8
What did the people do after stopping their ears? They attacked Stephen, gnashed on him with their teeth, and stoned him to death. Get ready people. This is what is coming. If they cannot shut the mouths of Christians speaking the words of God, nor mimic the power which confirms the word, then next comes martyrdom. I am not being fatalistic; this is what is said in your Scriptures (John 16:2; Revelation 20:4).
What should our response be? Should we march in the streets? Sign Congressional petitions? Vote? Go on TV to defend our views? Concentrate on appearing as "nice people" so that the world will be won over by our sin-tolerant, non-Christian love?
Paul tells us exactly what to do in his admonition to Timothy. In fact, the warning about those turning their ears from sound doctrine is sandwiched between Paul's instruction in this matter:
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine....But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." II Timothy 4:2,5
We are to keep preaching the word. Don't look to the left nor to the right, but keep spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are not to be deterred. We must continue to:
- Endure Afflictions
- Do the work of an evangelist
- Make full proof of our ministries
"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." Psalm 14:1